Whether you’re travelling by air or by road, your luggage sees a whole different side of your journey – dusty floors, grimy trunk of the car, greasy carousels at the airport, and so on. When you invest in high quality bags, it can be heart breaking to see the wear and tear reduce the life of the bags. However, there are easy ways to protect your bags so that they look (and smell!) close to how they just came off the store shelf. Here are some tips on cleaning and maintaining your pile of bags:
- Do no harm: First thing first – materials used to build your suitcase are different from other fabric and plastics, so do not make bad assumptions. Read the instructions first before attempting anything. Hot water, bleach, and other detergents can all irreparably damage your gear. Stay away from pre-soaking solutions and spot removers for the same reason. Using solvents could also void your warranty.
- Servicing the exterior: Wipe down the bottom of the bag (including wheels) and the handles with disinfecting wipes. Don’t forget to remove sand, grit and dirt from the zippers, so they continue to work the way they should. Use wax (candles) to rub the zippers for providing lubrication, incase your zipper is stuck.
- Use the appropriate cleaning agent and method: As a general guide, you may follow the following! –
- Polyester or Ballistic Nylon Luggage: These are easy to clean. You may use upholstery cleaners or warm water and mild soap to apply on the surface. Use a brush to rub out stains. Dry before storage
- Polycarbonate Luggage: Currently most hard luggage uses some form of plastic, mostly polycarbonate. First, use an abrasive sponge (used on oily utensils) to scrub areas with scuff marks. Apply warm water and dish washing fluid mix on the exterior. Wipe off with a damp and then a dry cloth.
- Canvas Luggage: If instructions allow, you may machine wash the bag. If not, use a mixture of baking sode (2-3 spoonfuls in warm water) to rub on stains or even laundry detergent and damp cloth to remove tougher stains
- Leather Bags: For regular maintenance, use alcohol free baby wipes to clean and rub immediately with a dry microfiber cloth. For a deeper clean use a leather cleaner which creates a nice lather to rub of the more stubborn dirt and grime. Wipe off immediately with a dry cloth and leave in the sun for drying. Use a protective leather conditioner for added love. For stains, you may use a mild soap too
- Stains: Alcohol for pen marks, cornstarch for oil stains, 91% isopropyl alcohol solution for anything that moves (bedbugs etc), ammonia for grease. For everything else, there is mastercard :0
- Be gentle with the interiors of the bag: To preserve the integrity of the fabric coating inside of the bag, the interior should be cleaned only with a dry cloth or a soft vacuum brush. Once clean, don’t forget to air it out. But don’t let the sun’s strong rays tarnish the look of your bag. It should dry in under an hour in a cool, shaded area.
- Store it the right way: Inspect your bags before storing them. Look for any wet spots or odours. Mildew can very easily grow inside a bag since it’s usually stored away. If you stay near the sea, like in Mumbai, use dessicant bags when storing the bag and change every Diwali 🙂
- Removing odours: For any lingering odours that don’t go away even after having aired it out, use baking soda. Take a clean sock and scoop about three tablespoons of baking soda into it, tie it off, and leave it in your zipped up luggage for a couple of days.
The choice is yours – do you want to go through all of this or just rent all your bags from Bragpacker and let us do it for you! You can check out our range of luggage gear to rent here. And rest assured, they will come to you spic and span and fully functional, everytime.